College Football Picks: How Lines Have Moved for Rose Bowl

Willie Bee

Tuesday, December 23, 2014 3:02 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2014 3:02 PM UTC

Have changes to the college football odds in the Rose Bowl given bettors an edge? Join us as we look at line movement in the first of the two semifinal playoff matchups.

Assuming the current weather forecast for New Year's Day in Pasadena, CA is correct, the Rose Bowl is going to be played on the brisk side of the thermometer. Current projections are for a 57º reading -- about 10 degrees below normal -- for the 2 PM local time boot (5 PM ET) before cooling as the game progresses, though there will be plenty of sunshine in the general Los Angeles area.

The temps being forecast are so far more brisk than recent movement on the College Football odds in the matchup between the Oregon Ducks and Florida State Seminoles. Those numbers are currently showing Oregon -9 and 72 for the consensus total, meaning very little has changed in the last two weeks since the openers first went out.

Our early look at this battle between the second-seeded Ducks and No. 3 Seminoles came with the spread and total less than 24 hours old, Oregon then listed as 9½ point chalk with 71 for the scoreboard barrier. We've still got a little more than a week to go before the kickoff, leaving plenty of time for action one way or another to change things more dramatically, and injury updates are always a good factor in late movement to any line.


Ducks Suffer Huge Loss In Defensive Backfield
The injury that has received the most attention in the last two weeks fell on Oregon's side when it was announced Ifo Ekpre-Olomu would miss the Rose Bowl with a knee injury he suffered in practice. The senior corner out of Chino Hills, CA was seventh on the team with 63 tackles, also intercepting a pair of passes, and was generally regarded as a 1st-round pick in next June's NFL Draft.

Dior Mathis, another senior, is expected to take Ekpre-Olomu's place after appearing in nickel packages during all 13 games this season. The good news for the Oregon Ducks is they still have safety Erick Dargan to hold the defensive backfield together, plus alls signs point to wide receiver Dwayne Stanford suiting up for action. Dargan led Oregon with 82 tackles and six INT's, Stanford third on the Ducks with 37 catches for 557 yards and six scores.

Helping offset the loss of Ekpre-Olomu on Oregon's side are several injuries to Florida State's stop unit. Junior linebacker Terrance Smith missed a couple of games down the stretch with a balky right knee, and he's questionable at this time. Smith had 85 tackles for the 'Noles despite missing two games.

The interior part of the FSU Seminoles' D-line might also be thin with Eddie Goldman (ankle) and Nile Lawrence-Stample (chest) possibly out. Goldman led the Seminoles with four sacks.


Can Mariota & Winston Live Up To QB Hype?
Subtracting standout defensive players from both sides could really open things up for the two quarterbacks, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. It's already received a lot of attention, this battle within the war between the last two Heisman Trophy winners, Mariota this past week and Winston a year ago, and as we've all seen with a lot of big pitching battles on the baseball betting front, we don't always get the duel being hyped.

I liked FSU and 9½ two weeks ago as my College Football pick, and I still like the Seminoles and 9 right now. Yes, Florida State was a money-burning 3-10 against the college football spreads this season while Oregon ran 9-4, always as the favorite. This will be the first time since late-September 2011; taking points for a team that has won 29 straight is too square for me to pass up.

Both teams enter with 6-7 O/U marks on the campaign, the present 72 representing the highest number in any FSU game while Oregon played seven times with a total in the 70s or higher. The Ducks saw their last three finish 'under' while five of the last seven for the Seminoles never reached the mark.

Season: 62-43-1 (+14.70)

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